You may or may not be aware that I tend to lean toward quasi-hermitude. I don’t go out often, and sometimes admittedly turn down social invitations in favor of Netflix. It’s always been due to laziness, or a desire to save money, or the middle of winter in which case I just don’t want to have to go outside.
However. I’ve noticed lately that I seem to have developed actual, albeit comparatively slight, social anxiety,* especially when the situation involves strangers. I never used to have an issue in situations with people I didn’t know. I either made friends or I ignored the strangers in favor of the friends I already had. Done and done.
Now though, I actually feel anxious. One of Darren’s coworkers won two hours of free bowling recently, and we went. I was a little concerned, knowing it was going to be me and Darren and a bunch of strangers. I know two people he works with, and neither of them were going to be there. When we got there and I saw all these people happily bowling and having a great time together, I was terrified. Frozen-in-place, heart pounding, clammy hands, lump-in-throat anxious and I wanted to leave immediately. We stayed, though, and I… didn’t have that good a time. The nachos were delicious though.
Now, tonight, I’m going out with Eric and a mostly unspecified group of people and I’m kind of freaking out about it. I’ve been emailing Darren expressing my concerns. He’s not going, and that’s fine, but it’s causing me to be concerned about having no allies. Not that Eric and Mike aren’t allies in general, but they’re not the people I turn to in uncomfortable situations and say “hey, this sucks, can we leave?”
Then I got a little teary (which, to be fair, has happened several times today for a variety of reasons) and wished Kate were here. And now I’m doing it again, goddamnit.
KATE. I miss you.
Anyway. I’m taking the bus to the bar with Eric tonight, and if it sucks I’m getting drunk and bussing home alone, I guess. And it’s not going to kill me, no matter what my brain seems to think.
*again, I want to be clear: I’m not saying I think I have SAD. I’m not, and I don’t. It’s nothing near that severity. I’m just saying I get really anxious and it sucks. The end.